Ferris Bueller once very wisely said, ““Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Well said, Ferris. Well said. Life is moving by at quite a clip. The overall pace of our obligations, our activities, and even our leisure is breakneck. Surely you feel it – the anxiousness that won’t seem to go away. That feeling that you ought to be doing something, even when you’re not doing something. That sense that you constantly clawing to keep up with everyone else’s skills, knowledge, or abilities that are passing you by. And in the midst of all those feelings, perhaps there’s another one that says something like…
“It’s not supposed to be this way.”
Maybe you also have the nagging sense that this unsustainable pace is actually not the good or right way to live. That maybe here, too, the Christian should stand apart from the rest of the world and live at a different pace than everyone else. And if you feel that way too, then take heart – because in Jesus, we see a much different pace of life.
Now keep in mind that Jesus absolutely knew He was on a clock. He knew there were three years of work to do, and that those years were pivotal in a way that any three other years never had been before. He knew all those things, and yet never seemed to be frantic or hurried in the slightest:
Even as the crowds of people following Jesus grew and more and more people clamored for His attention, He did not change His pace of life and instead frequently withdrew to be alone and pray (Luke 5:16).
When Jesus was on his way to heal a very sick little girl, He did not hurry passed an interaction with a sick woman who lived on the outskirts of society when she, too, needed his attention and healing (Mark 5).
Jesus did not even hurry back to see his very sick friend, Lazarus, even though doing so might have prevented suffering and grief (John 11).
The pace of Jesus is a stark spotlight on our own pace. It causes us to ask ourselves the very difficult question: “Who do we think we are?”
And who do we think we are? That if the Son of God did not feel compelled to hurry His way through life, then who do we think we are that we are so important? And perhaps that’s really at the core of our hurried pace – it’s an inflated sense of our own importance. That all these occurrence in life simply can’t go on without us.
Yes – it’s either our own self-importance – or the opposite. It’s the idea that we are not important at all, and therefore must validate our importance with our life pace. As if the measure of our worth is the packing of our calendars.
In either case, there is a better way. There is the way of Jesus. For Jesus was – and is – absolutely confident in who He is and what He came to do. He did not need to validate or prove Himself – only to do the Father’s will. May it be so with us, for it’s only in Christ can we be freed from the compulsion of self-importance or insecurity that drives our pace of life.